Back to Africa Check

UJ student who ‘robbed South African lottery of millions’ does not exist  

An April 2019 article by known junk news site Xpouzar.com claims a University of Johannesburg student robbed South Africa’s national lottery of over R18 million.

Facebook estimates that the article has been shared more than 1,800 times.

“UJ student photoshopped a winning lotto ticket and collected millions, before skipping the country,” the headline reads.

With the help of an unnamed inside man, the offender, “Sizwe Duma”, photoshopped three winning lottery tickets and used a fake ID to collect millions of unclaimed winnings in Gauteng province, the article claims.

The money was then sent to an offshore account and used to buy Bitcoin, an “untraceable” electronic currency.

“His fingerprints gave him away otherwise we wouldn’t know who he was, the whole thing was planned water tight,” the police are quoted as saying.

But the article doesn’t provide any further detail on the incident. And no other news service has reported on it.   



National lottery confirms news is fake


When the “news” reached Twitter, many users expressed admiration for the student who successfully duped the national lottery.

“Sizwe my role model”, one user tweeted.

Sizwe: 1; Lotto: 0, another joked.



But the national lottery’s Twitter account was quick to put the rumour to bed.

“Ithuba has become aware of the news that is currently being circulated regarding a University of Johannesburg student who allegedly photoshopped a Lottery ticket & used it to claim winnings. We can confirm that this is fake news & no such incident has taken place,” an April 25th tweet reads.



The lottery also has high-security measures that would immediately identify invalid claims. - Africa Check (14/05/19)

For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false

A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”. What should you do? First, don't delete!

Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.

Publishers guide

Africa Check teams up with Facebook

Africa Check is a partner in Facebook’s third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.

The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.

You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.

Further Reading

Add new comment

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
limit: 600 characters